Special Needs Tracking and Awareness Response System (S.T.A.R.S.)

The Special Needs Tracking and Awareness Response System (STARS) program helps coordinate and coach ambulance districts, fire districts and community hospitals to recognize the special needs of patients inside their coverage area and care for these patients’ special medical needs.

The STARS program focuses on care of special needs children ages 0-18 years, in an emergency situation. Each child who participates in the STARS program will have a detailed medical form with information including medical history, medications, allergies, baseline vital signs, baseline neurological status, and common medical emergencies. The medical forms will be placed in each ambulance and in the Emergency Department. The children participating in the STARS program will have an identifying number in the system, and in the case of an emergency, the caller can tell the dispatcher the child's number, which will be relayed to the responding ambulance.

The ultimate goal of STARS is to have pertinent, up-to-date information about each STARS child in the hands of first responders before they arrive at the child’s home and for community hospitals to be equipped with the knowledge to safely care for these special children. This ultimately helps decrease anxiety (for caregivers as well as the children).

Children who especially benefit from the STARS program are those with:

  • Cardiac histories
  • Neurological disorders
  • Severe medical complexities
  • Specific end of life wishes or DNR orders
  • Tracheostomies
  • Ventilator dependence

We highly encourage anyone who has a child who could be a candidate for the STARS program to contact one of the STARS team members at PCMH by calling 573-768-3212 or emailing An emergency department nurse or paramedic will be able to assist with any questions and filling out the STARS forms.  

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